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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT-P: July: Obamacare Decision as Baseball: the Runner is Safe, so Now What?

My favorite play in baseball is the second base steal. In the play, the base runner watches the pitch, and at just the right moment, he sprints toward second. The catcher snatches the pitch, springs up and rockets the ball to the second baseman who snags it and tries to tag the runner as he slides into the base. As the dust clears, all eyes are on the second base umpire who, in a split second, calls the runner safe or out. When the play is over, the players dust themselves off, and the game goes on.

Some on the field may disagree with the umpire’s call.  However, the umpire’s decision is final, and arguing can get you ejected. To stay in the game, great teams simply adjust their strategy based on the umpire’s call.

 

Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, special topics

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   1201. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4174973)
So, and this was actually in the news, if I contract with someone to provide me with the necessary materiel, I can build a nuclear device in my kitchen and the government has no say about that?


I guess it depends on how much the sitting President venerates the Second Amendment.
   1202. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4174974)
Am I safe in assuming the libertarians oppose water fluoridation as well?
You mean the fluoridation of the privately held supply of water, whose owners we are free to contract for services, and who are likewise free to deny us access to their goods?
   1203. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4174983)
So, anybody seen the new Spiderman movie yet?

I did. It's an extremely generic Spider-Man movie.

As for reverse lizardification ... I think the ACA should not only cover it, but mandate it.
   1204. Srul Itza Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4174985)
It's an extremely generic Spider-Man movie.


As opposed to, what? I liked it better than the Toby Maguire versions, largely because I find Maguire whiny and grating; and I never cared for how they did the CGI in those movies.
   1205. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4175038)
Actually, I'm pretty sure the broccoli flower (that is, the part most of us eat) is designed specifically to propagate the reproduction of broccoli plants. Learn something new every day, I guess.


So you believe in Intelligent Design then?
   1206. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4175040)
As opposed to, what?

I dunno. I'd probably give the first two Raimi films an edge, although I can't say they're favorites, either.

Did they really need to steal the plot from the X-Men movies, though?
   1207. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4175043)
So you believe in Intelligent Design then?

Of broccoli? Definitely.
   1208. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4175092)
Did they really need to steal the plot from the X-Men movies, though?


Technically, all of the X-Men, Spiderman and Avengers/individual character movies *should* take place in the same universe, so plots are likely to overlap.
   1209. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4175094)
Technically, all of the X-Men, Spiderman and Avengers/individual character movies *should* take place in the same universe, so plots are likely to overlap.

Must be a real #####, constantly having someone or other always wanting to turn everyone into mutants.
   1210. Srul Itza Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4175095)
Turning the leaders of the World into mutants vs. turning Manhattan into Lizardmen is similar, but not an exact copy. It also was not original to the X-Men, either.
   1211. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4175098)
Turning the leaders of the World into mutants vs. turning Manhattan into Lizardmen is similar, but not an exact copy. It also was not original to the X-Men, either.

The third one was about turning everyone into mutants, right? Maybe I'm misremembering.

And noting that it's been used many other times doesn't really help the new movie's case, IMO.
   1212. Srul Itza Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4175102)
The third one was about turning everyone into mutants, right?


No, it was about turning all the mutants into normal folk.
   1213. Srul Itza Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4175235)
It was also the movie version of the Dark Phoenix plot
   1214. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4175247)
No, it was about turning all the mutants into normal folk.
Right, the *first* one had Magneto trying to turn all the world leaders into mutants. The second one had Strykker trying to use the Professor to kill all the mutants outright.

Edit: I think the third one is also the movie where Sam denies that the mutants have any rights at all.
   1215. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4175250)
Edit: I think the third one is also the movie where Sam denies that the mutants have any rights at all.


I will only say this: Eric needs to put a boot up Charles' ##### ass.
   1216. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4175259)
Technically, all of the X-Men, Spiderman and Avengers/individual character movies *should* take place in the same universe, so plots are likely to overlap.


They're not just in the same universe; they're in the same city!
   1217. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4175272)
I will only say this: Eric needs to put a boot up Charles' ##### ass.
Would he even feel it?
   1218. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4175283)
The movies took all of the badass out of Xavier. It was pathetic.

As far as this new Spiderman, even the positive reviews don't make me want to see it. It sounds dull as ####.
   1219. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4175290)
I go away for a bit and 800 posts happen. Sigh.

Reading them all the part that stood out to me is that I am always astonished that the Libertarians never realize that their framework does not work. I don't mean in a theoretical way, I mean in the real world there are no nations now or in the past that followed their framework really at all.

In abstract it is a fine framework (though morally repellent I would argue) for thought experiments but has never and will never happen. And yet they curse and shake their fist against the tide that did not obey their command to halt. I guess I admire their dedication to a philosophy that is essentially irrelevant to how modern nation states operate, but that dedication does amaze me.

That said:
* I see Ray brought up the canard about why didn't liberals pool our money,and it was responded (by Shedder I think) that we did.

* I am glad I missed the terrible Name calling and death threat section. Bad on all sides. On the compassion issue I will in fact lay claim to having more compassion than any of you who honestly wish death on others or are OK with people being turned away to die on the streets. If you were not serious, then you have poor taste.

* Contraception (specifically the Pill) IS different than broccoli, right up until you can get the pill OTC (which was mentioned, but it merited another mention). If the Libertarians want to crusade the Pill should be OTC I and a bunch of other Liberals will join in. I might even "pool some money."

   1220. Brian C Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4175302)
As far as this new Spiderman, even the positive reviews don't make me want to see it. It sounds dull as ####.

It really kind of is. One of the most disappointing aspects is that it gives the wonderful Emma Stone almost nothing to do, except look vaguely embarrassed to be playing a high school student. She learns Spidey's identity, but doesn't even get a good scene for that, just a lame one-liner. That's just the kind of movie it is, where the filmmakers don't seem terribly interested in the material, and hence it's a by-the-numbers reboot that covers very familiar ground.

It's not a bad movie, exactly, but words like "mediocre" were invented to describe stuff like this.
   1221. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4175341)
For the record, ain't nothing wrong with Snapper (that wasn't wrong before, at least.) Just living la vida unwired. For those of you concerned.
   1222. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4175344)
So you believe in Intelligent Design then?

Of broccoli? Definitely.


Good answer, although even in this case I think it comes down to the same processes of mutation, selection and drift. It's just that humans had a hand in the last two parts.
   1223. Greg K Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4175365)
For the record, ain't nothing wrong with Snapper (that wasn't wrong before, at least.) Just living la vida unwired. For those of you concerned.

That's good to hear, snapper's a cool dude. Hopefully he returns soon.
   1224. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4175370)
With fewer bankruptcies, the cost of health care will rise at a slower rate because there will be fewer debts that are going unpaid that the rest of us have to make up for in order for the health care company to turn a profit.


Assumes that which is not in evidence. Speaking of the Canadian model, costs continue to rise even without bankruptcies and the profit motive to drive things.

I'm moderately confident that those who supported the ACA on cost cutting grounds (as opposed to cost restraining) are likely to be disappointed.

There are 3 primary areas that savings are achieved through a national care system:

A) Administrative costs. Mostly through the elimination of many of the veto points. System is basically designed to say "yes". Don't see the current state of affairs changing under ACA.
B) Prescription costs. Mostly through the system heavily promoting the use of generics (the US often pays less for any given generic. Sometimes substantially less. But they're generally not as readily available. Don't see this changing under the current system.
C) pay to doctors, nurse, etc. Whether doctors become state employees (in practice or in fact) or whether the state uses the power of being the sole entity making buying decisions there's no question that the amount that doctors make more in the US than any place else. (and yes, in practice this has led to odd things like a socialist government importing foreign strike-breakers)

Again, I don't see the ACA as having any impact on what doctors charge.

Maybe I'm wrong and the bankruptcy issue is really that large. The ACA was the best rest possible. I'm somewhat skeptical whether it's good enough. And the history of incremental changes in health care systems doesn't leave me optimistic. Canada for instance has been waiting on phase two for more than 40 years.

And yes, B and C above are "you hate freedom" things to opponents. Most governments negotiate on an "or else" basis in both areas. Big Pharma hates what they're forced to do WRT to generics and basically uses the US as a cash cow that props up their operations around the world. And the negotiations between the state and doctors (and nurses) are often extremely heavy handed.
   1225. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4175375)
Ron, the ACA also put into effect a number of other reforms, including the ACO model--which makes up a lot of the cost savings in the models.

According to CMS estimates, ACO implementation as described in the ACA is estimated to lead to a estimated median savings of $470 million from 2012–2015.

   1226. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4175381)
Most governments negotiate on an "or else" basis in both areas. Big Pharma hates what they're forced to do WRT to generics and basically uses the US as a cash cow that props up their operations around the world.

Hmmmm, what does Big Pharma say beyond "or else"** when a patient can't afford brand name medicine that may either save his life or restore his health above the Mendoza line? And if Big Pharma weren't still able to make a profit in their dealings with all of those "most governments", they wouldn't likely be playing the game at all.

**Oh, pardon me, I forgot: Patients have a "choice" to pay or not to pay. (The Quotations of Chairman Nieporent, p. 103)
   1227. Brian C Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4175383)
I'm moderately confident that those who supported the ACA on cost cutting grounds (as opposed to cost restraining) are likely to be disappointed.

The post you quoted talks about how "the cost of health care will rise at a slower rate" - sounds like "cost restraining" to me.

Good answer, although even in this case I think it comes down to the same processes of mutation, selection and drift. It's just that humans had a hand in the last two parts.

As I understand it, ID allows for mutation, selection and drift - just with the guiding hand of a designer overseeing the process. I think that pretty well describes how broccoli as we know it came into being.
   1228. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4175387)
#1226 Sometimes the Big Pharma does show willing. See all of those "may be able to help" (which of course is may choose to help and the emphasis is on the may) at the end of the ads.

My sister has from time to time gotten a very good deal down the road by participating in clinical trials earlier (with the risks that entails)

And #1225 Devil's always in the details. Maybe those details will matter a lot.
   1229. Swedish Chef Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4175391)
And if Big Pharma weren't still able to make a profit in their dealings with all of those "most governments", they wouldn't likely be playing the game at all.

Pharmaceuticals have huge R&D costs, usually not so much cost in manufacturing the pills (some substances are very expensive, like HGH when you needed to squeeze it out of tons and tons of sheep carcasses). So like an airline you can sell cheap $99 seats and make an incremental profit, but if all customers paid that you'd go bankrupt.
   1230. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4175392)
Wouldn't the special protected status in law and politics of the medical industry also have something to do with that? The high cost of medical care, I mean.

Conservatives/libertarians talk a good game about freedom and free trade but when it comes to letting down the barriers...? Not only that, doesn't it cost big time to allow pharmaceutical technology to have monopolies on new medicines--especially considering the long lengths of time involved. I believe Novartis will be losing its monopoly on the leukemia chemo drug (pill form) Gleevec soon, but its monopoly had to have had something to do with the fact that Gleevec is now over $4K for a month's supply. The backups to Gleevec is Bristol-Meyers's Sprycel and the Novartis's own Tasigna. Sprycel is over $8k for a 30-day supply. Tasigna is $6K a month. Sprycel and Tasigna have a good ways to go because their protected status expires. And these are just three medications for one disease. Think of the diseases their are and the medications under protection of intellectual property rights dictates. Then think the permutations possible in gaming the system.

   1231. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4175396)
#1226 Sometimes the Big Pharma does show willing. See all of those "may be able to help" (which of course is may choose to help and the emphasis is on the may) at the end of the ads.

My sister has from time to time gotten a very good deal down the road by participating in clinical trials earlier (with the risks that entails)


The point remains that "or else" is little more than a shorthand way of expressing the lopsided power balance between Big Pharma and its retail customers on the one hand, and between "most governments" and Big Pharma on the other. In both cases, with noted exceptions the final word is going to be "take it or leave it", which is the once and forever line that closes arguments between those with the upper hand and those without it.

The point of Big Pharma is to maximize its profit, and within the rules of the game, there's nothing wrong with that. If we don't like it, it's up to us to get the rules changed, or appoint people who will interpret the rules more to our liking.

But the point of governments in matters relating to health care is** to promote the overall health of its citizens, and not to be concerned with protecting Big Pharma's profit margins. If Big Pharma doesn't like that, they can always take their ball and go home.

**or should be, anyway

   1232. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4175404)
#919 And talking about rights being violated, you know what the third most frequent complaint listed in the reasons for secession was? (number two being the non-enforcement of the fugitive slave laws. Number one being the whole slavery in the territories issue)

The Royal Navy wouldn't let them import any more slaves from Africa and the federal government wasn't doing anything about it.

Under Sam's model black men in the North had the right to be 3rd class citizens (almost certainly no right to vote, generally standing below the Irish and other second class citizens). Those in Africa (generally -- there was some smuggling) had the right not to be transported to America (enforced by the Royal Navy) and those in the South effectively gained rights if they could make it out of the South (and weren't recaptured. Given the general non-cooperation of Northern authorities not a huge risk)

Lincoln's a good example of a very conflicted person active at the time. He was pretty clear that slavery was immoral. He was equally clear that it was legal in slave states and that he had no power (or intention) to upset the status quo. And once the war started he had to balance the need to keep border states onside with his own personal views. So when Ben Butler moved too soon on the issue he reprimanded Butler. And the Emancipation Proclamation didn't touch any slaves in loyal states.

legal, constitutional, immoral -- probably the way Sam sees the state of slavery in 1860 US.
   1233. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4175405)
A number of us are thinking along similar lines, it seems. Yes, R & D is costly, but they are making billions--billions. You think there wouldn't be any R & D is they didn't have all these guild-like protective restrictions and enabling. But we'll know, I guess, because where are all these free marketeers and free trade promoters I hear about when it comes to this?
   1234. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4175424)
It’s easy, much too easy, to grandstand on slavery. Mostly all it takes is to pretend there's no history of it at any other time or place, when it fact slavery has been prominent in most dominant civilizations throughout history. Libertrian conservatives in particular seem to think history began and should have ended in the 19th centuray.

We've all have slaves in our lineage, and we all have slave-owners in our history, too. Moralizing from a modern sensibility perspective is pretty cheap. The slaves brought over were slaves in Africa (are reparations due from there?). Not to mention that even in the West there were native slaves—the Russian serf had it no easier than the African slaves (reparations anyone?). Indeed, slavery in some ways marked a step up in the evolution of civilization and culture. Because before that, in strictly tribal warfare terms, losers led lives of nomadic desperation if they were lucky. If they weren't, they were fodder and fertilizer.

Edited for clarity
   1235. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4175436)
Andy, "Big Pharma" has compassionate use programs, wherein they often give drugs worth tens of thousands of dollars to patients at no cost.
   1236. phredbird Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4175439)
Did they really need to steal the plot from the X-Men movies, though?


you're worried about originality in a movie about a comic book superhero? especially since we're talking about a bunch of characters made up essentially by the same people (stan lee/jack kirby et al.)?

apropos of nothing, everyone here should go out and buy 'the art of daniel clowes, modern cartoonist'. it is awesome.
   1237. Swedish Chef Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4175440)
A number of us are thinking along similar lines, it seems. Yes, R & D is costly, but they are making billions--billions. You think there wouldn't be any R & D is they didn't have all these guild-like protective restrictions and enabling. But we'll know, I guess, because where are all these free marketeers and free trade promoters I hear about when it comes to this?

You say that as if intellectual property isn't the biggest political football on the internet. :-)

I think actually drugs are one of the things where patents are useful, drugs can't very well be kept as trade secrets (doctors and the FDA will want to know what the hell is in them), and they're usually cheap and easy to copy. Who in their right mind would invest $2 billion to develop one without protection?
   1238. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4175444)
Andy, "Big Pharma" has compassionate use programs, wherein they often give drugs worth tens of thousands of dollars to patients at no cost.


That they do. And it's very limited, in what's offered and in the "compassionate" qualifications.

It's the commodity cheese version of charity.
   1239. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4175447)
I think actually drugs are one of the things where patents are useful, drugs can't very well be kept as trade secrets (doctors and the FDA will want to know what the hell is in them), and they're usually cheap and easy to copy. Who in their right mind would invest $2 billion to develop one without protection?


That's all true. Again, I reiterate, it's not an either we have what we have or we have nothing. It's a matter of proportion--and it's not discussed. Those conservatives who are on record as to glory of all-pervading market systems and who, for instance, can't wait to get at Chinese markets don't have in mind opening Chinese production on this to the medical consumers benefit here.
   1240. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4175455)
I think actually drugs are one of the things where patents are useful, drugs can't very well be kept as trade secrets (doctors and the FDA will want to know what the hell is in them), and they're usually cheap and easy to copy. Who in their right mind would invest $2 billion to develop one without protection?

Clearly this is a good counter-point, and it's one that's always raised. The question, however, isn't the original patent, but the extensions, and the granting of new patents for "new" medicines which are little more than a minor variation of the previous ones, often used as a transparent means for keeping the branded medicine out of the generic market for a period well beyond its original term.

   1241. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4175459)
Repost for clarity and to correct typos:

A number of us are thinking along similar lines, it seems. Yes, R & D is costly, but companies are making billions--billions. You think there wouldn't be any R & D if there weren't all these guild-like protective restrictions and enabling. But we'll never know, I guess, because where are all these free marketeers and free trade promoters I hear about when it comes to this?
   1242. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4175460)
And if the high cost of medicine is necessary, then I say so is the cost of covering everyone more or less equally. That, too, is a necessary cost.
   1243. Swedish Chef Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4175461)
the Russian serf had it no easier than the African slaves (reparations anyone?).

They did have a revolution that set things right. The nobility was packed off to Paris and the peasants were herded into collectives, many were deliberately starved or sent to camps. Wait a minute, something seems a bit off there...
   1244. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4175463)
That they do. And it's very limited, in what's offered and in the "compassionate" qualifications.


Do you actually know this, or are you just blowing wind? Because I have had some experience with this through family members and that has been the opposite of my experience.
   1245. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4175464)
No, it's not off at all. The progeny of those serfs, their successor slaves, may deserve reparations, too. That invalidates nothing. Hell, let's give us all reparations.
   1246. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4175465)
Do you actually know this, or are you just blowing wind? Because I have had some experience with this through family members and that has been the opposite of my experience.


I have represented people, professionally and personally. Are you saying this applies to all medication from all companies? Or are you just blowing wind--wait a minute, how would that be any different that your usual MO?
   1247. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4175467)
Oh, and by the way, do those manufacturers advertise this or take any positive steps to let their magnanimity be known?
   1248. Greg K Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4175473)

They did have a revolution that set things right. The nobility was packed off to Paris and the peasants were herded into collectives, many were deliberately starved or sent to camps. Wait a minute, something seems a bit off there...

The Russian serf parallel is actually interesting in comparison to American slavery in that they were formally emancipated at roughly the same time (1861). I don't know much about it but Russia 1861-1917 seems like a very interesting lesson in the problems inherent in "freeing" slaves.

I actually know an Irish dude studying Russian agricultural policy in the province of Tambov in the late 19th century. The local Zemstvos that were set up after 1861 sounded like odd little bodies. The central government wouldn't let them communicate with one another for fear of creating a rival political authority so they sort of dealt with agricultural disasters on a case by case and region by region basis. His research is mostly on two zemstvos in Tambov that reacted to the same famine is drastically different ways (though both in accordance with central government directives). One sought to stream-line the markets and ensure they were as unfettered as possible to move food around, and the other one took advantage of all the investigatory powers it had to collect huge amounts of data on all its inhabitants and redistribute food according to need.

I suppose not all of this relates to what we're talking about, but there's a fascinating transitory period between emancipation of the serfs and the Bolsheviks.
   1249. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4175475)
Clearly this is a good counter-point, and it's one that's always raised. The question, however, isn't the original patent, but the extensions, and the granting of new patents for "new" medicines which are little more than a minor variation of the previous ones, often used as a transparent means for keeping the branded medicine out of the generic market for a period well beyond its original term.


To the extent that minor variations are a" "problem" in this regard, it applies to many types of patents, not just patents for drugs.

Do you think patents on, say, wind turbines, are all massive inventions? Or patents on light bulbs or medical devices? They're almost always for minor improvements.
   1250. BDC Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4175478)
Slavery, of course, is a real, current phenomenon in many sectors of agribusiness in the US (notably slavery in the tomato industry). It's intimately bound up with immigration policy and the interest that businesses have in keeping illegals scared and powerless. It's far from a thing of the past.
   1251. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4175489)
You say that as if intellectual property isn't the biggest political football on the internet. :-)


I don't think that IP law is that much of a political issue. I would wager that I would tend to agree with Ray or David Nieporent more on what the future state of IP law should be than I would with the majority of Congress.

IP law is an elites vs. technocrat situation where elites are being given a lot of money to defend the current status quo.
   1252. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4175491)
Modern Florida-style slavery plays new variations on the old theme of forced labor. Debt peonage is part of the system: workers are advanced putative sums by their bosses (at arbitrary, usurious rates), and then placed on a treadmill where they can never quite pay off that "debt" while they incur new charges that put them further behind.


Sounds like the old tenant farmer scheme in the Old South during it's cotton is king heyday. Africans were slaves and poor whites were indentured in their own way--only they weren't regarded as valuable property. In some ways it was better to be a slave than a mere tenant (white, or black after the Civil War). As a slave you were an investment--you were property and people tend to take care of property if for no other than selfish reasons. See the Time on the Cross stuff.
   1253. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4175503)
Clearly this is a good counter-point, and it's one that's always raised. The question, however, isn't the original patent, but the extensions, and the granting of new patents for "new" medicines which are little more than a minor variation of the previous ones, often used as a transparent means for keeping the branded medicine out of the generic market for a period well beyond its original term.

To the extent that minor variations are a" "problem" in this regard, it applies to many types of patents, not just patents for drugs.

Do you think patents on, say, wind turbines, are all massive inventions? Or patents on light bulbs or medical devices? They're almost always for minor improvements.


No question about that, but the need for most products isn't quite as vital as the need for life-saving medicines, which is the point under discussion.
   1254. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4175508)
   1255. BDC Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4175557)
In some ways it was better to be a slave than a mere tenant (white, or black after the Civil War)

Indeed – see Douglas Blackmon's Slavery by Another Name for more on the situation of "re-enslaved" tenants, peons, and convicts after Reconstruction.
   1256. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4175594)
   1257. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 07, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4175618)
No, it's not off at all. The progeny of those serfs, their successor slaves, may deserve reparations, too. That invalidates nothing. Hell, let's give us all reparations.

This is a weird issue. I think I'm in favor of reparations in principle, but I'm just not clear on:

1. Who, specifically, gets paid?
2. Who, specifically, does the paying?
and 3. How much?

Once I have a better handle on those issues, I feel like I'll have a better handle on the issue as a whole.
   1258. Greg K Posted: July 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4175635)
1. Who, specifically, gets paid?
2. Who, specifically, does the paying?
and 3. How much?

In the case of Russian serfs...

1. My friend Ryan of Ukranian descent
2. The former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
3. 100 rubles
   1259. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4175711)
A statement that made me choke up when I first heard about it came from Jonas Salk, shortly after the success of his polio treatment. He was asked who owned the patent to the vaccine, and he replied, "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
   1260. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4175729)
A statement that made me choke up when I first heard about it came from Jonas Salk, shortly after the success of his polio treatment. He was asked who owned the patent to the vaccine, and he replied, "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"

If only someone would try it, I'm sure that at least half a dozen people here would argue that we still retained the free choice to remain indoors.
   1261. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4175820)
Andy, I do think we would need to be very careful about altering the risk/reward and cost/benefit analysis of drug R&D. If profits for the pharmaceutical companies were slashed, incentive would be greatly reduced, and I'm sure you can do the math from there as to whether these drugs would be developed.

Do you agree with this point?
   1262. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4175844)
The market alone just won't handle it, huh? Protectionism is needed.

Funny how that works. The trucking industry makes sure the feds override the states and mandates uniform mud flaps. Louisiana dairy farmers can't have their state keep out milk from the state of Mississippi. Corporations have constitutional rights when it comes to Pacs. But, somehow it's different when it comes to one group of human beings simply wanting to be treated the same as any other groups by businesses. Maybe they should have incorporated to get conservative/libertarian approval.
   1263. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4175856)
The market alone just won't handle it, huh? Protectionism is needed.


Is this intended as a serious comment? Laws protecting property are not exactly a wild concept.
   1264. BDC Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4175859)
we would need to be very careful about altering the risk/reward and cost/benefit analysis of drug R&D. If profits for the pharmaceutical companies were slashed, incentive would be greatly reduced

I don't know about that, Ray. Medical research is enormously prestigious, and very amenable to public funding. It's true that the major publicly-traded pharmaceutical companies have an interest in stunning profits. But if there were a structure that regulated profits, paid scientists decent salaries, and encouraged high-profile research with significant social rewards (awards, recognition, fame), I think lots of great drugs might get developed.

Bell Labs (to name just the most obvious example) did magnificent research when it was a subsidiary of a highly-regulated corporation that had no competitors. Since deregulation, their achievements have been market-driven and sometimes that's resulted in total crap. I don't think huge profits drive good research; I don't think, at times, that they're even correlated very well.

   1265. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4175883)
Is this intended as a serious comment? Laws protecting property are not exactly a wild concept.


But laws protecting people are? And laws om derogation of commerce are also? Hmmm.

But, Ray, if you think companies are entitled to those excess non-market/non-competitive profits derived from the restraint of trade and I don't, then you and people like you ought to make up the difference yourselves. Wouldn't that be fair?
   1266. bobm Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4175884)
[1260]
Could you patent the sun?

If only someone would try it, I'm sure that at least half a dozen people here would argue that we still retained the free choice to remain indoors.


French candlemakers unsuccessfully petitioned for the passage of a protectionist law mandating
the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull's-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.


:)
   1267. Buzzards Bay Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4175911)
the emergency rooms are the front lines
qualitative stuff from family RN's and DR's suggests
theory ends at that door
this legislation is our attempt to get better
there
   1268. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4175936)
Is this intended as a serious comment? Laws protecting property are not exactly a wild concept.
The thing that annoys me about liberals is the way that they make up new words and new definitions for normal ideas. My computer is my property because I bought it and I own it. You can't own an idea. It's not property. I am boggled at the idea of "intellectual" property.

It's probably because you secretly want to murder children. Isn't it? I read somewhere that a liberal murdered a child.
   1269. Ron J Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4175952)
#1268 Not sure how much of what you've written is tongue in cheek, but it's a pretty common sentiment on the Internet (maybe a day goes by on Slashdot without an argument on the matter but I honestly can't remember the last day this happened) so...

You can as a matter of law own an idea. You may think this is a bad idea -- plenty of my friends (and I work in IT, this is not a non-issue in my professional life) would agree with you. I'm personally not sure, but the fact that the US Patent Office does a consistently lousy job in the area of prior art is grating.

   1270. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4175964)
Andrew Sullivan writes:
"One of the less observed features of the last few years has, in fact, been the intellectual honesty of conservatives like Posner or Greenspan or Bartlett or Frum. Each one of them, unlike so many who pass for conservative intellectuals these days, has his own view of the world, formed by independent thinking and study - often in the face of institutional liberal disdain. And they have shrewdly concluded that the last few years have shown that unregulated capitalism can be a serious problem, that markets do not automatically govern themselves, that the ideology of three decades ago might need revisiting in the face of the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years, which all but exploded the logic of neoconservatism and its domestic partner-in-crime, supply side economics. One was voodoo foreign policy, the other voodoo economics. Reality - simple empirical reality - exposed their glaring flaws.

An actual conservative will learn from this and adjust. The raving loons in the GOP base - precisely because they have no serious thinking behind them - will double-down on their fantasies, empowered by partisan hatred. And that's why the GOP needs to be defeated this fall. For the sake of an honest conservatism."


This one's a longer, related piece on John Roberts.
   1271. zenbitz Posted: July 08, 2012 at 02:01 AM (#4175978)
I am pages behind but... some quips:

But you don't get to point a gun at a doctor and demand that he provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do. Nor do you get to point a gun at some random bystanders and demand they empty their pockets so you can hire a doctor to provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do.


Actually, we just did.

You're simply deciding that the things you like are what makes society valuable and ignore anything about the things you like that make society less valuable.


Democracy! The worst of all -ocracies! (Exception: other all other -ocracies)


But of course the Liberatians have the moral high ground here, and the practical dregs. All laws restrict liberty - they are boundary conditions. I think Anarchic systems are practical... as long as resources are more or less unlimited. YOU MAY SAY I'M A DREAMER... BUT I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE.
   1272. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4175980)
#1268 Not sure how much of what you've written is tongue in cheek, but it's a pretty common sentiment on the Internet (maybe a day goes by on Slashdot without an argument on the matter but I honestly can't remember the last day this happened) so...

You can as a matter of law own an idea. You may think this is a bad idea -- plenty of my friends (and I work in IT, this is not a non-issue in my professional life) would agree with you. I'm personally not sure, but the fact that the US Patent Office does a consistently lousy job in the area of prior art is grating.


All of that was tongue in cheek. Satirizing the libertarians here, who like to complain about liberals making up words like "social contract", and "social insurance".
   1273. asdf1234 Posted: July 08, 2012 at 05:07 AM (#4175987)

It's probably because you secretly want to murder children. Isn't it? I read somewhere that a liberal murdered a child.


Paranoid fibertarians, don't you know better than to question your new mandarins and the postmodern clerics who support them? You can so totally trust us to wield the whip judiciously without any more extralegal (is that even a word? lol) executions and wars than are strictly necessary. Once you have top men like us and our various appointed administrators doling out justice via the People's Democratic Star Chamber (which is, natch, completely accountable to those jerks mincing about in black dresses), you can rest easy knowing the rights that our most acceptable philosophers have discussed into existence for you will always be safe, leagues beyond the threat of foreseeable abuse.

And if that doesn't convince you, let's just circle the wagons and laugh off anyone who points out the self-evident ethical shortcomings and real-world abuses that are the unavoidable result of our authoritarian political philosophy. See, the trick is that if you laugh often enough, eventually the joke becomes funny.
   1274. Lassus Posted: July 08, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4175996)
And if that doesn't convince you, let's just circle the wagons and laugh off anyone who points out the self-evident ethical shortcomings and real-world abuses that are the unavoidable result of our authoritarian political philosophy. See, the trick is that if you laugh often enough, eventually the joke becomes funny.

MCoA has scores of posts in this very thread, all of them well-thought-out, well-spoken, and well-reasoned. If your biggest defense is OH HE'S JOKING CAN'T FIGHT THAT, you're making an ass of yourself.
   1275. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4175999)
What's especially weird is that the "child murder" thing was just a joke about how Ray likes to attribute insane secret goals to liberals. I picked the most out-there thing I could think of in the minute I was writing that sentence. It wasn't meant to refer to anything.

Apparently j.kaput got offended by that joke because he thinks liberals do secretly support something that falls only a little short of child murder, and it's wrong to laugh off the almost-child-murder which is an underlying goal of liberal politics. I guess it's just Poe's Law (libertarian edition) in action.
   1276. Swedish Chef Posted: July 08, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4176005)
All of that was tongue in cheek. Satirizing the libertarians here, who like to complain about liberals making up words like "social contract", and "social insurance".

Not very effective satire when there's a massive group of people both on the right and left that agrees with every word of it. Hell, I think the words "intellectual property" conveys a totally wrong idea and contributes to the easy acceptance of infinite copyright term extensions and other evils, even if I'm not remotely a Pirate Party type.
   1277. rr Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4176007)
Apparently j.kaput got offended by that joke because he thinks liberals do secretly support something that falls only a little short of child murder

Well, actually, that is exactly what he thinks, and has made that clear on this thread and others, and I linked this five pages ago:



Anwar Al-Awlaki and Egyptian-born Gihan Mohsen Baker had an American son, born on September 13, 1995, in Denver, named Abdulrahman Anwar Al-Aulaqi".[242] Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki was killed at the age of 16 in an American drone strike on Friday, October 14, 2011, in Yemen, along with alleged al-Qaeda members.[243] Nine other people were killed in the same CIA-led attack. Among the dead was a 17-year-old cousin of Abdulrahman.[244] Family members have said that he was on his way to a barbecue. Five Facebook pages have been set up to condemn the killing as a human rights violation.[

   1278. rr Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4176008)
Anwar al-Awlaki (also spelled al-Aulaqi; Arabic: ???? ???????? Anwar al-‘Awlaq?; April 21, 1971 – September 30, 2011) was an American[8] and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training.[9][10] According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda.[2][6][11][12][13][14][15] With a blog, a Facebook page, and many YouTube videos, the Saudi news station Al Arabiya described him as the "bin Laden of the Internet",[16][17] though Bin Laden himself reportedly held Awlaki in low esteem.[18] Many of his videos have subsequently been removed from YouTube after a request from the US Congress.[19]
   1279. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4176011)
Not very effective satire when there's a massive group of people both on the right and left that agrees with every word of it.

You don't understand the point of satire, do you?
   1280. Swedish Chef Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4176015)
You don't understand the point of satire, do you?

Hell if I know. Apparently it is to confuse and bewilder people.
   1281. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4176020)
What's especially weird is that the "child murder" thing was just a joke about how Ray likes to attribute insane secret goals to liberals.


I don't think wealth redistribution is all that secret, even if some liberals won't admit it straight out.
   1282. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4176025)
Both parties redistribute wealth; it's just that when liberals do it, they don't crash the economy.
   1283. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4176027)
Both parties redistribute wealth; it's just that when liberals do it, they don't crash the economy.

And it doesn't all get redistributed into Scrooge McDuck's money bin.
   1284. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4176028)
But we'll know, I guess, because where are all these free marketeers and free trade promoters I hear about when it comes to this?

Free trade is an ideological assertion masking itself as empirical description. Intellectual property is the perfect example of this-- the state requires a huge bureaucratic and legal apparatus in order to protect what's ultimately a completely arbitrary arrangement, the rules of which are set up specifically to promote a particular configuration of commercial activity. Without that state apparatus, the system collapses into anarchy. When your system of "free" trade depends on a state apparatus to regulate the circulation and dissemination of ideas, you don't get to keep professing your love for the unfettered marketplace. This is why you can't divorce Libertarianism from its founding context, the way that its followers always try to. IP fixed particular European ideas about authorship as if those ideas were transcendental rather than specific to the ideology of the class that advocated on their behalf. Enforcing IP laws requires the state to restrict freedom in the interests of protecting a particular commercial arrangement.

In short: you can't be for maximizing individual autonomy and be an IP advocate. The latter requires severe and significant restraints on the former. This isn't necessarily an argument against IP, but you don't get to invoke the state to protect your particular IP preferences and then ##### when it makes demands in exchange for enforcing those preferences.
   1285. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4176030)
I don't think wealth redistribution is all that secret, even if some liberals won't admit it straight out.

Stop building straw men. All governments since the dawn of time have redistributed wealth. Governments allocate collective resources. That's what they do. Crying when it happens in ways you don't like, while ignoring all the times it happens for your benefit, just makes you sound like someone in need of a remedial Civics class.
   1286. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4176032)
In short: you can't be for maximizing individual autonomy and an IP advocate. The latter requires severe and significant restraints on the former.

As soon as Ray straightens all of this out, I just want to know if it's kosher to record a Sterling Hayden movie tonight.
   1287. BDC Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4176042)
Didn't Sterling Hayden once say that his goal in life was to buy up all the copies of all the movies he'd ever made and have a "hell of a bonfire?" Seems like you'd be honoring his wishes if you laid off the DVR, Andy :)

   1288. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4176065)
All of that was tongue in cheek. Satirizing the libertarians here, who like to complain about liberals making up words like "social contract", and "social insurance".

Not very effective satire when there's a massive group of people both on the right and left that agrees with every word of it.
I should stop commenting on my own tossed-off joke. But what the hell. The joke isn't that "intellectual property" should be respected under property laws. It's that "intellectual property" is a perfectly normal use of language that doesn't baffle anyone who isn't playing a dumb rhetorical game.

(To keep commenting on mediocre jokes, this is where the "robot" thing comes from. When Ray uses that rhetorical trick, he sounds like the sci-fi cliche of a robot asking, "what is this 'love' which hu-mans feel?")
   1289. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4176066)
As soon as Ray straightens all of this out, I just want to know if it's kosher to record a Sterling Hayden movie tonight.

Unless you grant the particulars of licensing deals hammered out by TMC execs after a three-drink lunch any sort of transcendental moral standing, you're probably OK, at least from an ethical standpoint. From a legal standpoint, I don't know about you, but I obey copyright laws at gunpoint. Constantly. It's gotten to the point where every time I even think about downloading Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I feel a cold steel circle pressing against my temple.

   1290. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4176070)
As soon as Ray straightens all of this out, I just want to know if it's kosher to record a Sterling Hayden movie tonight.
Oh please god no. The 1800 post TMC/IP thread was the all-time low point of baseballthinkfactory. There has never been a more worthless use of the internet, and I realize the magnitude of that claim.
   1291. Morty Causa Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4176074)
Hayden has some movies he can be proud of. The Asphalt Jungle, Kubrick's take on The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, with Hayden again. And, of course
Dr. Strangelove. In a movie with some memorable performances, Hayden's Ripper may be the one that sticks with you. Ripper is crazy and crazy destructive but it's a touching portrayal. He makes political dementia very human. He makes that movie be more than just a Mad Magazine/National Lampoon nihilistic satiric romp. His Jack D. Ripper gives the movie an emotional resonance it otherwise wouldn't have. It may be the performance most vital for the movie.
   1292. BDC Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4176082)
Agreed, Morty – I have a higher opinion of Hayden's movies than he did. He was very good in The Star with Bette Davis, pretty interesting in Johnny Guitar, and of course to comply fully with his wishes we'd have to burn every copy of The Godfather …
   1293. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4176083)
Hayden has some movies he can be proud of. The Asphalt Jungle, Kubrick's take on The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, with Hayden again. And, of course
Dr. Strangelove.


He had some nice supporting roles later in his career in The Godfather (corrupt police captain), The Long Goodbye, and 9 to 5.
   1294. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4176087)
Didn't Sterling Hayden once say that his goal in life was to buy up all the copies of all the movies he'd ever made and have a "hell of a bonfire?" Seems like you'd be honoring his wishes if you laid off the DVR, Andy :)

[Puts on lawyer's slippery shapeau] Okay, I promise not to record any movies on my DVR.

And don't worry, Matt, that was just a throwaway line. I wasn't trying to throw a lamb chop past Wolfman Ray.

---------------------------------------------

Hayden has some movies he can be proud of. The Asphalt Jungle, Kubrick's take on The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, with Hayden again. And, of course Dr. Strangelove.

The one I won't be DVRing tonight is Crime Wave, which sounds pretty sporty, and it's one I've never seen before. But besides the three you mentioned, he's also pretty good in Suddenly, The Star, and one that was just on TCM a week or two ago, Crime of Passion. When I look at his filmography I realize that TCM has been incredibly lax in not showing more than a handful of his films, especially The Killing and Naked Alibi.
   1295. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4176089)
Gonfalon, you can't quote Andrew Sullivan, because he has HIV and is thus insane. Everyone true conservative ignores him. It is known.
   1296. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4176091)
Bottom line about Hayden is that he's just a damn good screen presence, with no BS and no easy histrionics. And that "don't bone me" line in The Asphalt Jungle is one of the better examples of midcentury vernacular I can remember from any of the hundreds of films I've seen from that period. That was the first Hayden film I ever watched, and as soon as I heard him say that line the way he said it, no more than about 5 or 10 minutes into the picture, I knew that this was going to be my kind of movie and my kind of actor.
   1297. Morty Causa Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4176098)
Ray becomes pretty territorial when it comes to his bailiwick, as we all do--but we should recognize that we all do and the purpose of political systems and government should be to get beyond that. We all have high principles, and we're all ready sacrifice those principles for thinly disguised self-interest.

Terror in a Texas Town

When I was ten or eleven, I actually snuck off and went to see this movie during the middle of the week (a no-no with my parents). About a guy out west seek revenge with a harpoon. Sort of a Rio Bravo and Captain Ahab.
   1298. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4176105)
The funny thing about the Russian serfs/West African slaves/reparations tangent is that you can't drill three layers deep into *any* established social order and not find a group of workers who have been abused by the monied and powered classes. Which is why liberal and libertarian alike tend to ignore such things and pretend that we're starting our society carte blanc since yesterday. Because if you start talking about repaying people for old exploitative labor practices, you're already 3/4 of the way to the IWW.
   1299. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4176144)
Gonfalon, you can't quote Andrew Sullivan, because he has HIV and is thus insane. Everyone true conservative ignores him. It is known.


If the the GOP was accurately represented by Sullivan, David Brooks, David Frum, and Jon Huntsman, this would be a better country. We could use a genuine, sane center-right Tory party in the tradition of Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and Bush 41. Oh, wait, that's the post-Clinton Democratic party.

I'll grant this: Sullivan certainly comes off as insane whenever the topics of Sarah Palin or circumcision come up.
   1300. tshipman Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4176149)
I'll grant this: Sullivan certainly comes off as insane whenever the topics of Sarah Palin or circumcision come up.


Yeah, titling the stuff on circumcision "Male Genital Mutilation" is sort of troll-baiting.

If the the GOP was accurately represented by ... David Brooks


Anecdote about a cute story.
Segue to discussion on popular topic.
Explanation of how the anecdote means something deeply significant about popular topic.
NO DATA GIVEN TO SUPPORT ARGUMENT BEYOND ANECDOTE.
Self-satisfied conclusion


...
I prefer the Karl Rove GOP. At least they lie better.
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